Winter LIHEAP applications announced for area next week

By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
A local rite of winter, the Central Arkansas Development Council (CADC) of Benton said in a statement that the 2019 Winter LIHEAP Utility Assistance program will start next week, January 7, and will assist low income residents in both Hempstead and Nevada counties as long as funds are available.
Locally, in Hempstead County, applications locally will be accepted on Thursday, January 10, at the First Baptist Church in Hope at 315 S. Main Street from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon.
In Nevada County, applications will be accepted Wednesday, January 9, at the Prescott County office at 118 West Elm Street, from 8:30 a.m.
Since the LIHEAP, which is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, is based on low income, some applicants can be pre-approved, if they are already getting food stamps and other state assistance.
Resident information needed to apply for LIHEAP includes:
• Identification of person making application (driver’s license, birth certificate, work or school I.D.)
• Social Security numbers for all household members
• Proof of household income for all household members 18 and older for the month prior to application
• Both gas and electric bills
In past public statements, it was announced that approximately 1,000 low income households in Hempstead County annually receive assistance over the winter months with electric and gas bills related to heating their homes. Monthly bills to keep some local homes heated can run in excess of $300, which many in the area can’t afford, especially elderly and disabled populations.
The typical household income that receives LI-HEAP averages less than $1,000 per month in household income.
According to the US Census Bureau, Hempstead County has 8,296 households, and 2.67 persons per household, and it has a total population of 22,327. The bureau statistics also list 27.4 percent of the population at poverty level.
Based on an average benchmark of 1,000 local households served by LIHEAP, then 2,670 persons are being helped.
CADC is a nonprofit Community Action Agency and a United Way Agency based out of Benton, and it has been servicing the southwest Arkansas region as the de facto LIHEAP agency the former agency, the Southwest Arkansas Development Council (SWADC) closed operations in July 2017 after becoming financially insolvent.
The stated mission of CADC is to alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty, to help vulnerable populations achieve their potential and to build strong communities in Arkansas through community action.

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